Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs


Flu Vaccine Woes

Once again, volatile demand for flu vaccine is giving everyone a headache. A mere two years ago supply fell badly short of demand, turning US seniors into "immunization tourists" to Canada, and putting President Bush on the defensive during the 2004 campaign. This year, demand is way off, and suppliers can barely give the vaccine away; they face the prospect of wasting valuable doses because the vaccine is developed specifically for this year's strain.

Beating Drug Resistance: Chloroquine Proven to Have Regained Effectiveness Against Malaria

In the midst of all the recent political developments in global health, there's an exciting surprise on the scientific front: a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine has found that chloroquine cured 99% of malaria cases in a study of 105 children in Malawi, over 12 years after it was withdrawn due to treatment failure rates of over 50% (as reported in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer and elsewhere).

WHO Election Update

After the first day of deliberations, the field of candidates for WHO Director General has been narrowed down to five:

  • Kazem Behbehani (Kuwait)
  • Margaret Chan (China)
  • Julio Frenk (Mexico)
  • Shigeru Omi (Japan)
  • Elena Salgado Mendez (Spain)

What Can Developing Countries Learn from U.S. Health Care?

Well, besides what not to do. There is a new and active debate in the U.S. around whether the public sector should adopt a new method of paying health care providers, pay-for-performance, which is already being tried in the private sector to improve quality and efficiency of care. Paying providers based on performance in the U.S. system means that any provider, be they hospitals, single physicians or groups, gets reimbursed by the insurers based on process or outcome measures of performance.

WHO Virtual Hearing on IP & Innovation in Health

At the last World Health Assembly in May 2006, the WHO member states passed a resolution establishing an intergovernmental working group to "develop a global strategy and plan of action including to provide a framework to enhance research and development into diseases that disproportionately affect developing countries," which will meet for the first time December 4-8 under the leadership of Dr.

Act Up!

International AIDS Conferences are known for their dramatic protests. Tommy Thompson was booed off the stage in Barcelona. Randall Tobias, then head of PEPFAR, silently fumed at the podium for 45 minutes in Barcelona before protesters quieted enough for him to speak. The Prime Minister of Thailand was embarrassed at the Bangkok opening ceremony. AIDS activists, following the tradition of ACT UP! are known for their vocal presence -- and for pushing for real dialogue and action.